Beware Meetings Traveling in Packs

Meetings are a necessary evil, and they are worth doing as quickly and efficiently as possible. So there are some serious benefits to batching meetings. We do this at my current company, and while meeting day can be hell, it saves us a lot of focused time in the rest of the week.

Meeting-batching is efficient, but as Peter Drucker (and Tim Ferriss) have noted, efficiency is not the same as efficacy. And your efficacy sniff-test for meetings can suffer when you’re all focused on efficiency.

If you’ve already committed to two hours of meetings, you’re going to be more likely to agree to another 30-minute meeting. If you’ve already committed to four hours of meetings, you’re going to be more likely to agree to another 1-hour meeting.  It’s also much easier to agree to a meeting that has an insufficient or incomplete agenda if you already know you’ll be meeting for a good chunk of your day. “Oh, well, what’s one more?” you say to yourself.

This is how you end up really wasting time.

Because you can justify the addition of more meetings as well as less-defined meetings meeting as “efficient,” meeting proliferation is actually more of a danger when you are batching your meetings.

I’m not saying that batching isn’t smart. You should still do it. But when you are batching meetings, you have to purposefully raise your defenses against time-wasting meetings. They travel in packs.



James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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